Charlotte Schmitz

take me to jermany
Location: Berlin
Nationality: German
Biography: Charlotte Schmitz' approach to her photography is deliberately personal and often subverts the traditional documentary approach, which allows her to convey her messages about women and migration. She grew up in the Danish Minority in Germany... MORE
Public Story
take me to jermany
Copyright Charlotte Schmitz 2023
Updated Nov 2019
Topics Borders, Discrimination, Documentary, European Union, Freedom, Human Rights, Migration, Photography, Photojournalism, Politics, Portraiture, Refugee, War

This project chronicles the dangerous journey of refugees towards Europe. It turns its characters into co-authors and reveals the vulnerable yet relatable side of refugees. Their personal handwriting on their polaroids humanizes what otherwise is merely a still photograph. Many wrote of their struggles, their feelings of loneliness, and despair.

In 2015, many people fleeing war and persecution took the dangerous sea route from Turkey to Greece in search of a new home in Europe. Germany took a leading role in coordinating the EU's response for the humanitarian crisis, becoming a symbol of a new "welcome culture" (Willkommenskultur).

The positive attitude didn't last long. Right-wing movements used the crisis to portray refugees as alien threats to the continent. Soon fear and xenophobia dominated the debate. Dubious political deals were made between the EU, Turkey and other countries to prevent migrants from crossing borders. Refugees were driven to take more dangerous routes and many were left left many stranded on Greek islands and found themselves living while living under very poor conditions. A young refugee in Greece subsumed the whole calamity as he wrote on his Polaroid picture: "I see only Humans, not Humanity."

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take me to jermany by Charlotte Schmitz
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